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The Myths of Creativity: The Truth About How Innovative Companies and People Generate Great Ideas [Hardcover]

David Burkus
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

19 Nov 2013
How to get past the most common myths about creativity to design truly innovative strategies We tend to think of creativity in terms reminiscent of the ancient muses: divinely–inspired, unpredictable, and bestowed upon a lucky few. But when our jobs challenge us to be creative on demand, we must develop novel, useful ideas that will keep our organizations competitive. The Myths of Creativity demystifies the processes that drive innovation. Based on the latest research into how creative individuals and firms succeed, David Burkus highlights the mistaken ideas that hold us back and shows us how anyone can embrace a practical approach, grounded in reality, to finding the best new ideas, projects, processes, and programs. Answers questions such as: What causes us to be creative in one moment and void in the next? What makes someone more or less creative than his or her peers? Where do our flashes of creative insight come from, and how can we generate more of them? Debunks 10 common myths, including: the Eureka Myth; the Lone Creator Myth; the Incentive Myth; and The Brainstorming Myth Written by David Burkus, founder of popular leadership blog LDRLB For anyone who struggles with creativity, or who makes excuses for delaying the work of innovation, The Myths of Creativity will help you overcome your obstacles to finding new ideas.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (19 Nov 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118611144
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118611142
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.6 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 94,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

“An engaging book that makes its case in good, clear language… [Burkus] forces us to challenge some widely held assumptions.” —Morgen Witzel, The Financial Times “Outlines how anyone—especially entrepreneurs—can embrace a practical approach to finding the best kind of mojo for new projects, processes and programs.” —Entrepreneur.com (selected as a “Best Business Book to Get Cozy With This Fall”) “We may no longer literally worship the Muses, but the myths surrounding creativity continue to delude us. In this smart and urgent book, David Burkus explodes these myths and replaces them with the scientific results of modern research on creativity and innovation.” —Daniel H. Pink, author, To Sell is Human and Drive “Creative potential is all too often held captive by misconceptions. Burkus tackles the myths head on and digs into the true underpinnings of creative insight. It turns out that great ideas are within your grasp as soon as you take the reins. Read this book to free yourself of the myths and assumptions that burden your true creative potential.” —Scott Belsky, author, Making Ideas Happen and cofounder & CEO, BEHANCE “Through rigorous research and engaging stories, Burkus debunks the myths of creativity and illuminates a creative process that makes ingenuity accessible to all. If you seek a more innovative company, The Myths of Creativity is a brilliant find.” —Liz Wiseman, author, Multipliers, and founder, The Wiseman Group “David Burkus is an important new voice, both as a scholar and storyteller, as well as a commentator of the emerging ‘GenEntrepreneur’ in America.” —Peter Sims, author, Little Bets , and founder, BLK SHP “ The Myths of Creativity speaks the truth.  The processes, environments, and organizational structures that foster creativity, as well as the obstacles that inhibit innovation, are laid bare. David Burkus uncovers the hidden elements which have been at the core of Continuum′s innovation process, driving us to find better answers to the biggest questions.” —Gianfranco Zaccai, president, chief design officer, and founder, Continuum “You must embrace your creative ability in order to thrive in today′s marketplace. David Burkus swiftly and effectively debunks the myths that limit your creative firepower.” —Todd Henry, author, The Accidental Creative

“This is an engaging book that makes its case in good, clear language” (The Financial Times, October 2013.)

From the Back Cover

What causes us to be creative in one moment and void in the next? What makes someone more or less creative than his or her peers? Where do our flashes of creative insight come from, and how can we generate more of them? We tend to think of creativity in terms reminiscent of the ancient muses: divinely inspired, unpredictable, and bestowed upon a lucky few. Unfortunately, mythology isn't much help when you're challenged to be creative on demand. When you are charged with developing new ideas, conventional wisdom will only hold you back. How can you ensure you get past common myths about creativity to design truly innovative strategies? The Myths of Creativity demystifies the processes that drive innovation. Based on the latest research into how creative individuals and firms succeed, David Burkus corrects the mistaken ideas that stunt innovative thinking, such as: The Eureka Myth: New ideas come from hard work, not a quick spark The Lone Creator Myth: Creativity takes well-conceived teamwork, not a single person's genius The Mousetrap Myth: No innovation is brilliant enough to sell itself, and a great idea isn't the end of the process, but the beginning By debunking these—and other—widespread misconceptions, David Burkus shows how to embrace a real, practical approach to finding the best new ideas, projects, processes, and programs. For anyone who struggles with creativity, or who makes excuses for delaying the work of innovation, The Myths of Creativity will help overcome the creative obstacles to finding new ideas. For more on LDRLB , please visit www.LDRLB.org or on Twitter via @LDRLB.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Of all the volumes published on the subject of creativity or innovation, none provides more and better information, insights, and counsel than does this one. Indeed, one of this book's several strengths is that David Burkus shares his own thoughts about several dozen of the most important sources when examining, as the subtitle suggests, "the truth about how innovative companies and people generate great ideas."

I share his high regard for Teresa Amabile and her breakthrough insights on the unique relationship between creativity and innovation. He agrees with her about the importance of developing domain-relevant skills (i.e. expertise), mastering creativity-relevant processes, possessing task motivation (i.e. passion) to engage, and the often-underestimated influence of the social environment within which innovation initiatives occur. Domain skills can be taught, creativity-related processes can be learned. "Both expertise and creative methodology can be taught, but their presence is irrelevant without the motivation to work...The social environment of the [given] firm is usually the hardest component to redesign; however it may also be the most important." He explains all this brilliantly while devoting a separate chapter to each of ten myths,

These are among the dozens of business subjects and issues of special interest and value to me, also listed to indicate the scope of Burkus' coverage.

o Teresa Amabile's "Componential" Model of Four Influences on Innovation (Pages 6-11)
o The Ten Myths of Innovation (11-14)
o The Incubation Effect (23-24)
o Post-it Note Story (28-31)
o The Five Factor Model of Personality/"The Big Five" (38)
o W. L.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  73 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "must read" on creativity and innovation 7 Oct 2013
By Michael Lee Stallard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
David Burkus' new book, "The Myths of Creativity: The Truth About How Innovative Companies and People Generate Great Ideas," is among the best business books I've read this year. It provides a valuable review of research and practices related to the process of innovation. It's impossible to read "The Myths of Creativity" and not come away with new, useful practices that will improve your ability to innovate. I highly recommend it.

Readers of this book will gain a newfound appreciation for just how difficult innovation is. Fortunately, Burkus equips readers with practices to help individuals and organizations overcome the biases and potential pitfalls that frequently derail innovation. For example, Burkus shows how conflict is a necessary part of the process and represents a risk to innovation if it gets personal. He then goes on to provide a solution by describing the practice Pixar developed that employs conflict in a constructive way while keeping it from escalating into internal combat.

I liked the way Burkus organized the book into ten myths about creativity including the Eureka Myth, the Lone Creator Myth and the Constraints Myth. I also appreciated that the book is under 200 pages in length, and is easy to dip in and out of. Today's readers of business books, many of whom suffer from time poverty, will enjoy Burkus' straight forward, cut-to-the-chase, high value-added writing style.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I liked it a lot 21 Oct 2013
By Bret L. Simmons - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
David Burkus has written an excellent evidence-based book on how innovation really works. His suggestions are backed by real peer-reviewed research, not just his opinion or anecdotal experience. What impressed me the most about this book is how well written it is. Even though it is substantive, it is an easy and enjoyable read. I highly recommend this book for any individual or organization that needs to be concerned about generating innovative ideas - which is most of us!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mixing it up in Pursuit of Innovation 19 Oct 2013
By R. McConaughy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Burkus does a great job of writing for the reader. This is NOT one of those books where the writer is just proving to you how full of themselves they are. Burkus has good ideas that you can use to stimulate creativity in a world that wants creativity on demand. The stories are good. The myths are engaging. This book should be on the shelf of everyone interested in great ideas - and they should read it too.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Book in a Crowded Field 29 Oct 2013
By S. Kaplan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
With over 20 years in the field of business innovation, I've read a lot of books on the topic. The Myths of Creativity does a nice job at debunking some of the top assumptions in the field and then offering up alternatives for the real truths behind how creativity and innovation really works. The author provides a number of examples that don't get seen too often in the popular press, as well as empirical research to back up his claims. I can see this book becoming a standard textbook in university courses focused on design thinking, product development and even business strategy. For anyone looking for a solid primer on the current state of creativity and innovation in business this is a must read.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars David Burkus Hits The Nail On The Head 18 Oct 2013
By Mike Myatt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Creativity is often talked about, but rarely understood. David helps readers clearly see a path beyond the status quo by helping them realize the only thing holding them back is buying into myths and false paradigms about what creativity is and is not. If you don't think you're creative, don't be surprised when others begin to believe you. Buy this book, read David's words and break out of whatever box you've placed yourself in.
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